UCD Ad Astra Academy Performing Arts, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland and UCD Poetry as Commemoration initiative present The Stare’s Nest.

This performance, developed with the UCD Ad Astra Performing Arts Scholars under the direction of Ad Astra Artistic Director Kellie Hughes, was created in collaboration with Ad Astra Academy Music Director Thérèse Timoney and UCD Associate Professor of Modern Poetry, Dr. Lucy Collins. Tishé Fatunbi is the Assistant Director.

It presents poems from the Poetry as Commemoration project – an initiative of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive at UCD Library, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The Stare’s Nest combines poems from the early twentieth century with contemporary compositions, reflecting a range of experiences relating to the revolutionary period. Many of these poems engage with archival documents and photographs that capture and preserve forgotten lives. Drawing inspiration too from the National Gallery of Ireland’s Roller Skates and Ruins exhibition, the performance explores the many facets of violent conflict on all parts of this island and the impact of this turbulence on Irish poets and artists.


Performed by the UCD Ad Astra Performing Arts Scholars:

  • Eileen Curran – French Horn
  • Wiktoria Kordacka –  Voice
  • Olivia McKevitt – Voice
  • Joshua McNutt – Voice
  • Nessa Molumby – Voice
  • Faith Olasogba – Voice
  • Stan O’Beirne – Piano
  • Valerie O’Connor – Flute
  • Emma O’Leary – Voice
  • Kevin O’Loughlin – Viola
  • Malcolm O’Loughlin – Marimba

Poetry featured:

  • ‘The Municipal Gallery Revisited’ (extract) by William Butler Yeats
  • ‘A Memory of the Somme’ by William Orpen
  • ‘Dead in Wars and Revolutions’ by Mary Devenport O’Neill
  • ‘Safe House’ by Leanne O’Sullivan
  • ‘Autumn Journal’ (extract) by Louis MacNeice
  • ‘This Video Has No Sound’ by Padraig Regan
  • ‘Poster Boy Speaks 1923’ by Caroline Bracken
  • ‘The Belfast Pogrom: Some Observations’ by Paul Muldoon
  • ‘Dead Short on the System, Belfast, 1923’ by Gaynor Kane
  • ‘The Church, Zillebeke October 1918’ by William Orpen
  • ‘Roller Skating in Kilmainham’ by Emily Cullen
  • ‘Wound’ by Chiamaka Enyl-Amadi
  • ‘Soldiering’ by Monk Gibbon
  • ‘Poetry as Commemoration’ by Máirín Lankford
  • ‘The Stare’s Nest by my Window’ by William Butler Yeats

Music featured:

  • Mariel by Osvaldo Golijov
  • Étude Op. 4 No. 3 in b-flat minor by Karol Szymanowski
  • Lone Call and Charge by Richard Bissill
  • Syrinx by Claude Debussy